French Polynesia GeographyPolynesia-French Geography
Polynesia-French Geography 2018, CIA World Factbook
Geographical coordinates: Environmental issues: The information on French Polynesia on this page has been re-published from the 2018 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. There are no demands regarding the correctness of the information on French Polynesian Geography 2018 included here. Any proposals to correct bugs related to French Polynesian geography in 2018 should be submitted to the CIA.
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Frenchspeaking Polynesia is an area of French sub-Saharan Africa in the Southern Pacific, about 3,000 km southwest of Hawaii and about halfway between New Zealand and Samerica. It is made up of more than 118 islets spread over an area about the approximate area of Western Europe.
They are made up of the Austral, Gambier, Marquesas, Society and Tuamotu Archipelago islets. They have a total area of 3 521 sqkm. Approximately 36 islets are of vulcanic origins, the remainder are low or elevated caves. There is an extreme jagged landscape of high mountain volcanoes, with high summits, razor sharp burrs and almost perpendicular slopes into small canyons.
Orohena mountain on Tahiti is the highest mountain with an altitude of 2,241 m. French Polynesia has a gentle tropic weather with an mean of 27° C. There is a hot wet period from November to April and a colder one from May to October. There are at least 950 types of angiosperm in the French Polynesia region, almost three-quarters of which are local.
Its very pronounced fauna is the result of various elements, such as geographic separation, the small island sizes and the variation in ground resulting from the different kinds of substrates. There are the highest islets with the most abundant wildlife, and the different kinds of native plants are directly influenced by the composition of the ground, the height, the amount of precipitation and the exposition (wind and sun).
However, the fauna on the low altitude plains is bad (20 to 80 types, according to the atoll), although there are some scarce and indigenous types (like Sesbania cockinea sp. on Puka Puka on the Tuamotu Islands). Originally the wood cover of an avocet consisted of a central wood in the middle, encircled by bushy subsoil along the fringes (e.g. Pandanus vectorius bushland).
In the Society Isles there was an unspoilt landscape of enclosed mountain rainforests and coastline woods. Currently, in the innermost part of the highest island at heights above 600-900 meters one finds pristine rock formation, while the wood at lower heights has been severely damaged by human and animal damage and substituted by fern (Dicranopteris) grass ("Miscanthus").
Austral asia's autochthonous islands have strongly changed autochthonous plants. This is the only unspoilt woodland on the highest peaks, on the steepest hillsides and in some gorges. Tuamotu Islands have a very bad fauna, and if the native woodland has not been substituted by cochineal plantation, it is mainly made up of deciduous woods.
Most of the Gambier Islands are protected by secundary flora and grasslands (Miscanthus). Marquesas Islands have a dryer lower altitude climates and the coastline forests contain xerophilic strains. Mountain forests in the wetter areas are relatively well conserved and have the highest level of endemicity in French Polynesia.
On the Society Islands, hibiscus-acrostichum marsh forests can be found in swampy areas with saltwater. It is a self-contained formations that reaches a high of 6 to 8 metres; Hibiscus teriliaceus is predominant, along with Thespesia Populnea or Terminalia Cappa; the fibrous blanket is fragmentary and consists of acrostichum ureum, a characteristic ferns here; Hernandia-Thespesia wood is also found in the society on volcano or calcareous sand.
Its height ranges from 10 to 15 metres and its top floors are Thespesia populnea, Hernandia sonora and Cordia sucordata; the brush wood is scrubby and the irregular vegetation; the wood of Thespesia-Pisonia is a paracoast on the Marquesas up to a height of 300 metres. Woods on plains and high lime stone islets ( "Makatea" on the Tuamotu Island in particular) have two major forms:
The most abundant are Guettarda espiosa and Pandanus spectorius, flanked by Hernandia sonsora, Thespesia populnea, etc. Guettarda-Pandanus woods surround the Makatea plains and can also be found on the Motu of the Tubuai Islands up to 100 m above sea level.
It is a low, 4 to 6 metre high woodland, overlooked by the Guettarda speciesa and Pandanus vectorius; the underwood contains vines and epiphytic trees; the Homalium-Planchonella woodland is located in the main Makatea valley. The Tecoma Epipremnum is one of its demoted types, with many naturalised sorts. It contains native woodlands like Hibiscus tilesaceus and the Neonauca pine, but also alien woodlands like Aleurites moleuccana and Inocarpus grasp.
Four kinds of formations exist, dependent on the respective island: Up to 200 metres above sea level, the Hibiscus-Etlingera wood is located on some of the Society Group's isles. Its underbrushes are native bushes and its herbic vegetation is diverse, among them many fern trees; the Neonauclea Angiopteris wood is up to 900 metres high and covers large areas next to the Hibiscus-Etlingera formations; it is a self-contained, high (15-20 metres) formations predominated by Neonauclea fortsteri and Rhus tapensis.
Hibiscus -Angiopteris forests can be found on Rurutu and Tubuai (Tubuai Islands) and the Marquesas Islands, but with minor variations. It is a low (10 m) coastal wood with a worse vegetation than the previous one, containing Cerbera manghas and Glochidion p.s. in addition to the two major types This formations has a thicket (Alyxia Stellata, Macropiper latifolium) and a herb course with many fern.
Areas where man has intervened extensively include Mangifera and Coffea, two recently established tropical and tropical wildlife strains; Hibiscus-Pandanus-Weinmannia forests in the Marquesas Islands. This is a transition phase between hibiscus angiopteris wood and higher lying wood (see below). A number of types from moisture-loving forests occur together with higher lying types of forests, among them Weinmannia para-flora, Crossostylis binflora and many epiphytic and soil fern.
The wood Metrosideros-Commersonia is located on the peaks and plateaus of some Society Islands. This is a low wood (5-7 m) consisting mainly of Metrosideros collina, Commersonia boartramia and Xylosma Suaveolens; Sapindus xylosma wood is found on the Marquesas Islands (mainly Nuku Hiva) as dispersed remains, up to 500 meters. Sapindus Sebonaria and Xylosma Suaveolenens are flanked by many naturalised sorts.
If it is mined, it becomes bushy (see below), with Leucaena scrubland and Dicranopteris moor; worn out shapes are the Hibiscus Mangifera wood, which can be found between 20 and 400 meters on the Society Islands. This is the woodland of Metrosideros, Weinmannia and Alstonia, but also Freycinetia and Pandanus are common: Weinmannia-Alstonia woodland (Society Islands) is a low formations (7-10 m) and consists mainly of Weinmannia para-viflora, Alstonia Costaata and a ferns, Cyathea affinis.
All bushes are indigenous and the herbic vegetation is abundant, dominated by fern; the Ilex-Streblus wood (Society Islands) is the best conserved wooded formations on the Society Islands. This is a humid wood with a high proportion of endemicity, with Ilex Taitensi and Weinmannia Parvi flora being the dominating types on the peaks; Alstonia Constatata is also present on hillsides, but the floral compositions vary with each area.
Groundferns, epiphytic plants, moss and lichen are remarkable plentiful; Metrosideros Cyathea wood (Tubuai Islands) can be found in gorges. The wood of Hernandia-Cyathea (Marquesas Islands), which lies between 800 and 1 000 metres above sea level, consists of Cyathea affinis, Weinmannia paraviflora, Fagrea Berteroana and Hernandia Naskuhivensis and reaches a level of 15 metres; the underbrush contains many endemics.
The wood of Buruarina is located on hills and knolls below 200 meters on Moorea and Tahiti (Society Islands) and on the Marquesas Islands. It is an open virgin wood of 8-12 metres high and is located in the equine region of Tuscany. Lantana and Dicranopteris are also to be found, but it has virtually no herb layers; open woods on an atoll were initially mainly made up of Pisonia granis, with an brush of fern, grass and some bush and shrub bery, but such forms were almost entirely demolished on the atoll to make room for growing coconuts.
Cheirodendron Ilex Wood (Marquesas Islands) is a low (3-5 m) enclosed formations consisting mainly of Ilex markensis and Cheirodendron mastardianum, as well as many native wood types (Coprosma ppp., Psychotria ppp., etc.). The Dodonaea xylosma wood is a low, open formations on the dryest peaks of the Tubuai Islands; it consists of Dodonaea viscosa, Xylosma suaveolens and Casuarina equisetifolia. 2.
Dicranopteris ferland is the principal shape of the demoted Metrosideros forests on the high plains and summits of the Society Islands between 200 and 400 m altitude. Dicranopteris heathland can be found in similar areas on the Tubuai Islands but disappears through pasture.
On the Marquesas Islands it is a degradated shape of the mesophilic Sapindus-forrest. The low and middle height Miscanthus-Psidium grasslands, the degradated shape of the mesophilic forests, are found in the dryest parts of the Society Islands. On the Tubuai Islands, virgin stocks of Miscanthus fluoridulus occupy large areas of up to 250 m. This formations are located on the precipitous rocks of the Marquesas Islands.
The Leucaena Leuucocephala grows on some of the Society Islands in virgin populations of less than 200 metres. It is a decayed type of low mesophilic strata, reaching a max. elevation of 6m. In the Marquesas Islands, it also includes relatively large areas. The Malvaceae - Sterculaceae bushland is the most important degrading type of forest at these heights and constitutes a zone around Nuku Hiva (Marquesas Islands) up to an elevation of 300 metres.
Summits over 900 metres on the Society Islands have a low bushland flora (3 metres) with a herbic associations of Vaccinium cerium and Astelia naadeaudii. The sub-alpine flora on the summits above 1 500 metres (in the company and on the Marquesas Islands) is made up of small shriveled down small shrivelled offsets ('less than 1 metre) due to the combination of the effect of wind and low tempera- ter.
and Vaccinium, Metrosideros sp. possède French Polynesia a flora from 675 www.675, of which 500 are endemic, or près of three quarters of the www.met in these islands. This original flora is the result of a number of factors such as geographical isolation, the small size of the islands, the soil differences that result from the different kinds of substrates and so on.
The upper islands possèdent The richest flora and the different kinds of natural vegetation depend directly on the composition of the soil, the altitude, the amount of precipitation and the exposure (wind and sun). On the other hand, the flora of the low islands is poor (from 20 to 80 espèces on Atolls), but there are still rare and endemic espèces (such as Sesbania coast on Puka Puka Island, Tuamotu archipelago).
Originally the woody vegetation of an avocet consisted of a central forestière vegetation surrounded by bushy subsoil on sandy substrates on the periphery (e.g. shrub marquis at Fara, Pandanus Tectorius). The archipelago of the society had an original vegetation consisting of dense, moist mountain forests and coastal forests.
In the highest locations (over 1,000 mètres) undisturbed formation (cloud forests) occur on the highest islands today. At the lowest elevations, the forest très, degraded by humans and animals, was replaced by moors at fougères (Dicranopteris) and grass savannahs (Miscanthus).
The untouched forest would only exist on the highest mountains, rather steep slopes and some gorges. Most of the Tuamotu tunnels have been converted into coconut groves, and few (in the southeast) still have remains of natural vegetation. Most of the otolls also have bush vegetation.
The Marquesas archipelago is under the influence of a drier climate in the lowlands and the coastal forest consists among other things of espèces Xerophiles. The mountain forest, in more humid areas, is relatively well preserved, but floristically poor. - Marsh forest of Hibiscus-Acrostichum is located in the social archipelago (Tahiti and Moorea) in the salt water swamps.
It is a close group of 6 to 8 mètres in height, dominated by Hibiscus toiliaceus accompanied by Thespesia populnea or Terminalia comatappa. - There is also the Hernandia-Thespesia forest in the archipelago of society (Tahiti and Moorea) on volcanic or coral sand. It reaches 10 to 15 mètres in height and includes in the uppermost layer Thespesia Populnea, Hernandia Sonnora and Cordia Socordata.
- From the forest of Guettarda-Hernandia, located in Makatea (Tuamotu Archipelago), it reaches a height of 6-8 mètres - the forest of Thespesia-Pisonia is a para-litoral group of the Marquesas Islands (Nuku Hiva) up to 300mètres high. It exists only in relic form and culminates in 15 mètres high. The closed forests of the Otolls and Mtu plateaus (especially in Makatea in the Tuamotu archipelago) are represented by two main groups: - The Homalium-Planchonella forest occupies the central depression of Makatea.
It exceeds 20 mètres in height, Homalium and Planchonella are the dominant espèces. One of its humiliating faciès is the Tecoma Epipremnum forest, which contains many naturalized espèces The hygrophilic formation of low and medium height valleys (maximum 900 mètres) occupy the beds of rivières and the lower and middle parts of the valleys and require considerable precipitation (in the order of 3 000 mm/year).
There are two kinds of formation after the islands: - The forest in Hibiscus-Etlingera is present up to 200 mètres of height in some islands of the archipelago of the society. Its arch is about 12 mètres high and the hibiscus is dominant mètres, accompanied by Inocarpus fibifer.
- the Neonauclean Angiopteris forest, adjacent to the Hibiscus-Etlingera formations, occupies large areas up to 900 mètres This forest is thick, high (15 to 20 mètres) and is dominated by the Neonauclean forest and Rhus taeti. - Hibiscus Angiopteris forest exists in Rurutu (Southern Islands) and Nuku Hiva (Marquesas Islands) with some differences at gères
It is a low forest (10 mètres high), shore and with less rich flora than the previous one. This kind of forming includes a shrub layer (Alyxia stellata, Macropiper latifolium) and many fougères in the herbaceous layer. In the areas strongly changed by humans there is a faciès Ã Mangifera Coffea, espèces exotic and recently naturalized.
The Marquesas Islands also have the Hibiscus-Pandanus-Weinmannia forest, a transitional forest between the Hibiscus-Angiopteris forest and the mountain forest (see below). Hygrophilous formation espèces espèces espèces of the high forest, including Weinmannia para viflora, Crossostylis binflora and numerous terrestrial epiphytes and fougères.
The mesophilic strata of low and medium-height hills are the most extensive (up to 400/600 mètres of height), but also the most degraded. They are located in areas with rainfall of less than 3 000 mm/year. - Underground forest Metrosideros-Commersonia is located on the ridges and plateaus of some of the company's islands.
It is a low forest (5 to 7 mètres high) consisting mainly of Metrosideros collina, Commersonia boartramia and Xylosma suaveolens. - Forest near Sapindus-Xylosma is located on the Marquesas Islands (mainly Nuku Hiva) in the form of relic fragments up to 500 m high. - Those degraded faciès include, among others, the forest in Hibiscus-Mangifera between 20 and 400 mètres altitude on the islands of society.
Umbrophilic vegetation of medium and high altitudes, between 600 and 1 500 mètres Height, requires heavy precipitation (over 3 000 mm/year) and high humidity due to an omnipresent cloud belt. - Forest in the Weinmannia-Alstonia archipelago is a low forest (7 to 10 mètres high).
- The Society Archipelago (Ilex-Streblus Forest) is the best preserved wood formations in the archipelago. It is a forest of 5 to 8 mètres high, très wet and high endmist, where Ilex taeitensis and Weinmannia paraviflora are the dominant espèces on the ridges. This kind of forest can reach 15 mètres in altitude in the most favorable places (slopes of valleys of altitude).
- It is situated in the gorges of La Fourêt Ãososos-Cyathea, (Australian archipelago). - Forests in Marquesas archipelago, Hernandia-Cyathea, lie between 800 and 1,000 metres above sea level. It is a composée de Cyathea affinis, Weinmannia para flora, et Fagrea berteroana near Culminent on 15 mètres de hausinator. - It is a low forest (3 to 5 mètres high), closed and consists mainly of Ilex markensis and Cheirodendron vastardianum as well as many endemic woody plants (Coprosma ppp., Psychotria ppp., etc.).
The open forests of the high islands consist of three main groups, depending on which island they are located on: - You find the forest in Casuarina, Moorea and Tahiti (Society Islands) as well as on the Marquesas Islands on the croup and ridges at 200mètres high.
It is a clear, monospecific forest in Casuarina Equisetifolia, which reaches 8 to 12 mètres in height. - The Dodonaea -Xylosma forest, located on the southern islands, is an open and low forest on most ridges sèches - Metrosideros Weinmannia Forest is located on most of the hills and slopes of the Marquesas Islands.
It is an open, low formations (3 mètres high), including Metrosideros collina, Weinmannia paraiflora and other endemic woody formations espèces. There are, however, still some relics on some of these; P. granis can exceed 20 mètres in height and this espèce is generally associated with Guettarda speciesiosa and Pipturus Argententeus.
The heath to Dicranopteris forms the main page faciès of the degradation of the forest to Metrosideros on the plateaus and ridges of the islands of the society (between 20 and 300 mètres of altitude). In repeated fires this formations is reduced to a herbaceous formations on fougères, where Dicranopteris linearis dominates in dense thicket with a height of 2 mètres.
In the southern islands it occupies the same environment, but it tends to disappear through overgrazing. In the Marquesas Islands it is a group of degradations of the mesophile forest near Sapindus. The savannah In Miscanthus-Psidium, faciès of degradation of low and middle height mesophile forests, is available in most sèches areas of the islands of society.
Psidium Miscanthus fioridulus et Psidium guiava in les bass-high. On the southern islands Miscanthus fluoridulus occupies large areas in monospecific stands up to a height of 250 mètres In the Marquesas archipelago, this formations occupies the steep slopes of the cliffs. The bush in Leucaena enucocephala forms pure populations of max. 6 mètres height in some islands of the company under 200 mètres height.
In the Marquesas archipelago, this formations also occupies relatively large areas. Situated on the island of Nuku Hiva (Marquesas Archipelago), the Malvacées-Sterculacées bush is the most important faciès of forest degradation at these hights. It is about a bush of 2 mètres of height connecting Sidastrum paniculatum and Waltheria instantosa like dominant mètres
The peaks of 900 mètres height (islands of society) are occupied by low forests (3 mètres high), which are characterized by the association Vaccinium cereum-Astelia naadeaudii (herbaceous). It is a form of passage between the rainforest and the macchia of the peaks. The peak of the peak amaz, over 1 500 mètres height (archipelago of the Society and the Marquesas), have trees of reduced size (no more than 1 mètre) under the combined action of winds and lower temperatures.
The trees are atrophied, open and very endmist. The French Polynesia forestry genetics. In: Pacifical Subregional Laboratory on the Genome of Forestry. Polynesian-atoll forests and forests. Tropical Islands of the Tropical Ocean. Polynésie française Atlas. Society Islands Greenery.
French-Polynesian reports to the 1998 forestry directors' conference note that in 1995 there was a 4,235 ha of pinewood plantations and in 1990 a total of less than 100 ha of fine timber (for the care of craftsmen). It uses the default Pacific Islands fit ratio (70 percent). Polynesia Francaise 1998: Heads of Forestry Meetings, Nadi, Fiji; September 21-25, 1998.
The French Polynesian economic situation is very diverse, but is biased by the CEP and CEA, which together with a strong French army force make a significant contribution to the country's high GNP. No significant local forestry exists and the demand for lumber and 5,000 tons of cardboard and cardboard is covered by the import.